Maricopa Community Colleges  ASB238   19956-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 4-25-1995

ASB238  2000 Fall – 2012 Spring

LEC  3.0 Credit(s)  3.0 Period(s)  3.0 Load  Acad

Archaeology of N America

Introduction to North American prehistory.

Prerequisites: None.


Course Attribute(s):

General Education Designation: Historical Awareness - [H]

General Education Designation: Social and Behavioral Sciences - [SB]

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


ASB238  2000 Fall – 2012 Spring

Archaeology of N America



List and discuss major events in the history of American archaeology. (I)


Explain theories and evidence for the peopling of North America. (II)


Trace changing subsistence patterns in several prehistoric North American cultures as they occur through time. (II, III, IV)


Compare regional adaptations in various environments of several prehistoric North American cultures. (IV)


Analyze the differences in social organization between at least two prehistoric North American societies. (IV)


Explain the consequences of European contact with Native Americans. (V)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


ASB238  2000 Fall – 2012 Spring

Archaeology of N America


I. Building of American Archaeology

A. Myth of the mound builders

B. Early archaeologists

C. Birth of culture history

D. Science and archaeology

II. The Paleo-Indians

A. Debate over the timing of the origins

B. Genetic evidence

C. Clovis culture

D. Megafaunal extinctions

III. Hunting and Gathering Cultures

A. Post Clovis Paleo-Indians

B. Origins of foragers and hunter-gatherer lifeways

IV. Regional Variation

A. The Great Plains

1. The Plains environment

2. Plains Archaic and bison hunters

3. Later Plains farmers, gatherers, and hunters

B. The Far North

1. The Arctic environment

2. Na-Dene and Aleut Eskimo traditions

3. Eastern Arctic (e.g. Thuleeg, Norton and Dorset)

C. The West and Great Basin

1. The western and Great Basin environments

2. Early hunters and gatherers on the west coast

3. Later prehistoric societies on the Pacific coast

4. The Great Basin Desert Archaic

5. Fremont and Great Basin horticulture

D. The Northwest Coast

1. The Coastal environment

2. Hunting, gathering and fishing with abundance

3. Rise of chiefdoms

E. The Southwest

1. The southwestern environment

2. The Archaic and origins of agriculture

3. Pueblo societies

4. The rise of irrigation agriculture in southern Arizona

F. The Eastern Woodlands

1. The eastern environment

2. Archaic cultures and origins of agriculture

3. Maritime tradition in the northeast

4. Interaction and exchange

5. Woodland, Adena, Middle Woodland and Hopewell

6. The Mississippian climax: Cahokia and Moundville

7. Algonquians and Iroquois confederacies

V. The Archaeology of European Contact

A. History of contact

B. Consequences of contact


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